• Yearbook Syllabus


    Instructors: Stu Katz

    Email: katzs@gcsnc.com



    Course Description: In this course, students will gain skills in page design, advanced publishing techniques, copywriting, editing, and photography while producing a creative, innovative yearbook which records school memories and events. There is an emphasis on journalism skills in this class. Participants gain useful, real-world skills in time management, marketing, teamwork, and design principles.


    Instructional Philosophy: Students will be given challenging real-world projects and assignments typical of the graphic design and publishing industries. High quality work is expected and students will be given opportunities to redo work until it meets standards specified during instruction. Classroom activities will include reading, research, projects, and problem-solving. Students will often work in teams but will be expected to complete individual assignments in relation to the team's work. Assessment methods will include written exams, tests, and quizzes; oral and written research reports; reading assignments; and projects.


    Course Goals:

    1. Students will learn publishing industry terminology and become familiar with publishing software.

    2. Students will learn copywriting techniques.

    3. Students will work with various types of print production equipment including digital cameras, computers, and scanners.  

    4. Students will apply computer skills and design principles to the production of yearbook pages.

    5. Students will develop communication skills and work as sales representatives for both the yearbook publication and business ads.


    Course Outline:

    Program Area 1: Introduction to Graphic Design and Publishing Industries

    Students will be introduced to the graphic design and publishing industry through magazines, internet, etc.


    Program Area 2: Introduction to Equipment

    Students will use multimedia elements to create the yearbook with graphic design software. Students will be introduced to each piece of equipment tied to page production: computer, scanner, printer, camera, etc.


    Program Area 3: Elements and Principles of Design

    Students will learn about design elements through production of a finished yearbook. Students will learn about color, shape, space, balance, eye lines, contrast, variety, emphasis/dominance, harmony, repetition/pattern, and unity.


    Program Area 4: Journalistic Writing

    Students will learn about journalistic writing (story and caption writing) through the production of a finished yearbook.


    Program Area 5: Typography

    Students will maintain a consistent typographic theme throughout the yearbook production process. Students will learn about typefaces, typographic measurement, typographic standards, typographic guidelines.


    Program Area 6: Creating and Editing Images for Print

    Students will learn when to use particular image formats for yearbook. Students will learn about formats, resolution, ethics, and copyright laws.


    Program Area 7: Leadership

    Students will participate in leadership activities such as good attendance, school involvement, time management and organization, and will perform other leadership tasks within the classroom and school.



    Text & Materials: Students will work extensively with an online publication site by Jostens called Yearbook Avenue (YBA). They will also become familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite 4 design application Photoshop.



    Work Expectations

    Students are expected to work on yearbook assignments during class time. You should leave this class at the end of the year with marketing and production skills. There is always something to do.

    Deadlines are non-negotiable. If you repeatedly miss deadlines, you may be subject to dismissal from yearbook class.

    Yearbook is a marketing and production class and we want to create and sell the best product. It is your responsibility to make certain that you have put every effort forward to create and sell the best quality product we can create. As such, students will:

    Complete all assigned pages.

    Include the names of every person on every photo.

    Insure that 100% of names are spelled correctly.

    Design to the proper specifications.

    Follow the correct theme.

    Take pictures as assigned in a variety of activities during and beyond the school day.

    Complete all miscellaneous assignments and projects.

    Work doesn’t stop when class ends. Students are expected to participate in outside-of-class activities. To produce a complete yearbook, students will be required to attend school activities to take photographs and gather information to be used in the yearbook. Due to the nature of publishing deadlines, students will be expected to work periodically before or after school and on weekends as needed to meet publishing deadlines.

    Business ads: Each staff member is expected to sell ads ($400 worth). Meeting your sales quota will count for 10% of your quarter grade. This means if you do not meet your quota, you cannot earn an A for that quarter. Quarter 1 = $100 Quarter 2 = $250 Quarter 3 = $400 This will be explained during the first week of school.

    Daily classroom procedures will be explained to you.




    Quarter/Semester Assessment Test 50%, Participation 40%; Business ad sales 10%


    Test Items Include:

    yearbook spreads

    formal assessments

    projects (individual & group)

    Participation Items Include:

    weekly participation grades

    photography assignments


    design assignments






    Expected Behaviors:

    On time daily.

    Cooperate with others.

    Follow rules and procedures.

    Use appropriate language and behaviors.

    Show respect and courtesy toward all students, staff and guests.

    Participate in and complete classroom activities.

    Participate in all out of class activities and assignments.